Finding a good fish and chips joint can be hard especially if you’re looking for something different and not the usual deep fried stuff that most offer. However we were recently pleasantly surprised when we came across a place that not only avoided frying all their produce, but cooked and presented it more naturally with almost a certain respect.
Tommy Ruff, located in Elsternwick (there is also one in Mordialloc) is owned by John Stamoulis and Helen Stamoulis who has been specialising in gourmet fish and chips for quite a while. Just to give you a bit of background, John’s father, Ipocrates Stamoulis was born on the island of Samos, in the Aegean sea and after migrating to Australia in the 1950s he worked in the seafood industry and then took ownership of his first fish and chips shop in 1969. Inspired by his father, John decided to enter the fish and chips business himself but with a gourmet twist and emphasis on displaying the beautiful produce he has to offer. He has since changed the traditional fish and chips view to a focus on flavour, health and quality produce.
The restaurant itself has a modern, casual and bright beach, fun feel to it with sea decorations wherever possible from fishing nets and fishing rods scattered along the walls, to newspaper clippings made into wallpaper – even the water jug was a large ceramic fish with its mouth as the opening for water!
Continuing with the nautical theme, the menus are available on the table and are blue themed, offering quite a variety of different seafood dishes to choose from. Having been a few times now we have tried a number of dishes so lets talk about them!
We have had the seafood chowder a couple of times now as a starter which consists of fish, prawns and mussels with warmly toasted bread for dipping. It also has a potato like consistency offering it a bit of thickness expected in a chowder. It is quite a large serving but quite hearty and tasty so you’ll easily gobble it all up!
Tommy’s tacos (fish or prawns), which come with Mexican salsa and slaw is also very nice with fresh tasting ingredients and also good for a starter. We have also ordered the vinaigrette oysters which I thoroughly enjoyed – their special vinaigrette sauce has the perfect tang and gets you ready for the mains!
I highly recommend the Chef’s seafood platter if you’re not sure what to order because the huge platter offers a bit of everything for a first timer. It includes the Tommy’s tacos, oysters, about 3 different grilled fishes, prawns, scallops, calamari and chips. The seafood is mostly grilled and not fried which is what we love about it and the produce is fresh! It is also not over flavoured with too much seasoning or sauces, allowing you to really taste the natural freshness of the seafood. However it is definitely not plain tasting either so I think the flavours have been balanced well.
I was also a big fan of the salmon burger which consisted of a lovely grilled salmon fillet with salad, lemon and dill sauce. With such simple, fresh ingredients, allowing the combination of natural flavours, it was a really enjoyable burger! I can’t also forget to mention the chips as they were of real high quality, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
If you’re not too hungry for the seafood platter, you can also order one of their many grilled fish combos with chips and salad or rice and salad.
Overall, if you’re looking for something different from the usual fish and chips you are used to, do check out Tommy Ruff as they offer high quality seafood, presented very nicely. For the top quality produce and presentation, the prices are also very reasonable!
Approx $30 AUD per person
Address: 1/3 Carre St, Elsternwick VIC 3185
Phone:+61 3 9077 8815